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MLB Rumors

Carlos Beltran sidelined again Thursday
by Chris Towers |

Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran is out of the lineup for the second day in a row Thursday against the Astros, as he continues to deal with an elbow injury.

Beltran was examined Wednesday, but the results of that are not yet known. What is known is that his elbow has been bothering him more in recent days, possibly as a result of his return to the outfielder last week. He has just one hit in his last 28 at-bats.  

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Following bullpen struggles, Chase Whitley sent down
by Chris Towers |

The Yankees optioned pitcher Chase Whitley to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Thursday, to clear a roster spot for a callup.

Whitley has spent the last month pitching out of the Yankees bullpen, but has struggled in that role. He has allowed 10 runs over his last 7 1/3 innings, raising his season ERA to 5.43 overall.  

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Zelous Wheeler gets the call from Triple-A
by Chris Towers |

Yankees infielder Zelous Wheeler was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Thursday, the team announced.

Wheeler was sent down in early August to make room for the team's trade deadline acquisitions. He hit .267/.267/.467 in 30 at-bats with the Yankees earlier in the season. 

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Manager encouraged by Bryce Harper's approach
by Chris Towers |

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper put together a three-hit game Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, his second since returning from the disabled list, the Washington Post reports.

Harper sparked the team's game-winning rally in the ninth inning with his third single of the game, and manager Matt Williams said how he got the hit was the most encouraging part of the performance.

"He hit the ball back through the middle [Wednesday], which is really important for him," Williams said.

Harper has struggled to find his power swing this season thanks to a thumb injury, but he is hitting .282 with a .375 on-base percentage since the All-Star break. Impressed by his approach Wednesday, Williams believes the power will follow.

"But if he stays through the middle like that, he's going to get a lot of hits, and I feel if he trusts himself to do that, the home runs will come," Williams said. "They will come. They'll come on hanging breaking balls and change-ups up in the zone, if he can stay middle of the diamond. And he's working hard on that. So I'm proud of his approach."

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DL stint not ruled out for Joaquin Benoit
by Chris Towers |

As of Thursday, Padres closer Joaquin Benoit has not appeared in a game in over a week, due to a shoulder issue, and reports he might not be close to returning.

The Padres have apparently not yet ruled out a DL trip for Benoit to allow his shoulder to heal, though it is also not yet clear what the specific issue is at this point. A decision is expected to be made in the next few days, with Kevin Quackenbush expected to continue filling in as closer while Benoit is sidelined.

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Ryan Hanigan set to start rehab Friday
by Chris Towers |

Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan should begin his rehab assignment at Class A Charlotte Friday, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Hanigan, who is working his way back from an oblique injury, is likely to need 25-30 at-bats at Charlotte before the team considers bringing him back from the DL. He is tentatively scheduled to return around the start of September. Hanigan has been out since early July due to this injury, and has already suffered one setback while on assignment. 

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Steve Pearce swats 13th home run Wednesday
by R.J. White |

Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce went 1 for 4 with a solo home run in his team's 4-3 win over the White Sox Wednesday.

Pearce has started to heat back up over the last four games, going 7 for 18 with four doubles and two home runs. He hadn't managed a multi-hit performance since July 19 before his current stretch. Pearce owns a .289/.353/.520 line with 13 home runs and 34 RBI in 256 at-bats.

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Kevin Quackenbush earns first save Wednesday
by R.J. White |

Padres pitcher Kevin Quackenbush picked up his first career save Wednesday, giving up a hit but pitching a scoreless ninth inning in his team's 4-1 win over the Dodgers.

Regular closer Joaquin Benoit is dealing with a shoulder issue, opening the door for Quackenbush to enter the game in a save opportunity. He owns a 2.29 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 37:13 K:BB ratio in 39 1/3 innings.

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Eric Stults tosses five one-run innings vs. Dodgers
by R.J. White |

Padres pitcher Eric Stults earned a win Wednesday, allowing just one earned run on four hits and one walk in five innings while striking out five in his team's 4-1 victory over the Dodgers.

Stults (6-13) moved to 3-0 over his last four starts, and he's only allowed four earned runs in 24 2/3 innings during that stretch. Wednesday's sole run came on a third-inning sacrifice fly, and the San Diego starter also managed to deliver his own RBI single in the second inning. Stults owns a 4.53 ERA and 86:34 K:BB ratio in 135 innings. He's scheduled to face the Brewers Monday.

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Roberto Hernandez lasts five innings in loss vs. Padres
by R.J. White |

Dodgers pitcher Roberto Hernandez took a loss Wednesday, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks in five innings and striking out two in his team's 4-1 defeat against the Padres.

Hernandez (7-9) surrendered just three hits in six innings in each of his first two starts with the Dodgers, but he couldn't find that groove Wednesday, though all eight hits allowed were singles. He owns a 3.78 ERA and 87:61 K:BB ratio in 138 innings. Hernandez is scheduled to face the Diamondbacks Tuesday.

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